tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS February 8, 2020 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, february 8: the democratic presidential candidates look toew hampshire coronavirus emerge; and in our signature segment, the changing tide along the mississippi lta. next, on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs wshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwart sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the cheryl and philip milstein family. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. charles rosenblum. we try to live in ntthe mome to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we
believe taking care of tomorrow can help y make the most of today. tgroup, retiremrvices andial investments. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private rporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center inew york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and thanks for joining us. most of the democratic prsidential candidates are back on the road today, crisscrossing new hampshire after a debate last n seven of the 11 candidates still in the race took the stage for two a a half hours, turning up the heat on each other with a focus on the frontrunners from the iowa caucuses-- senator bernie sanders and former south bend, indiana, mayor pete former vice president joe biden seemed to concede he will lose in tuesday's primary afterur
finishing in iowa. >> this is a long race. i took a hit in iowa, and i'll probably take a hit here. >> sreenivasan: he took aim at sanders on the potential costs of his medicare for all plan. >> imagine you're goi to unite the country walking into the congress, "i got this bill. it's going to revive medicare for everybody. i can't tell you how much it's going to cost. wel find out later it's likely to be double whatever that everything wee spend deral government." who do you think is going to get that passed? >> sreenivasan: sanders defended his signature issue. >> the wayou bring people together is by ending the internationadisgrace of this country being the only major nation on earth not to guarantee health care to all people as a human right. >> sreenivasan: several candidates targeted buttigieg, poting out his lack of experience in national politics. >> we have a newcomer in the white house, and look where it got us. i think ving some experience is a good thing. >> sreenivasan: buttigieg said his age and experience as a city mayor are what make him the better choice. >> we need a perspective right now that will finally allow us
to leeave the politics of past in the past, turn the page and bring change to washington before it's too te. >> sreenivasan: this was the eighth democratic debate. the next will be in las vegas, before nevada holds its causes. joining us now for more on how the new hampshire race is taping up-- and what impa iowa caucus confusion may have on the results-- is patrick mu, director of the monmouth university polling institute. thanks for joining us. first, really, looking forward to new hampshire. what is on their minds? what is mo important so far to a voter in new hampshire? >> well, the majority of voters say they're looking if you somebody who can beat the donald trump. so that seemed to popouin our poll. we weren'ture whether that would materialize until we got to the early contests. we did see a little ba in i, and i think we're seeing it more in new hampshire. t there's a differce there between those who are worried about that and the minority who say, "i don't care abt that. it's about policy," in terms of who they're supporting. so bernie sanders supporters,
supporters of some of these wer polling candidates who are making up about one-tenth of the ectotal rate right now are saying it's about policy. it's all about policy. it's voters for amy cloach char d joe biden, saying it's about electability. what we're seeingt the polling at the beginning of the week agz a movement, those voters areis really shifting right now. they're not sure exactly what is going to happen. the debate last night, buttigieg's performance in iowa, all these things are seen to making that centrist part of it. people are concerned about beating donald trump, kind of churn a little bit in terms of their decision, abuse half of new hampshire voters say theyad haven't up their mind yet. >> sreenivasan: so the bernie saers voter or the tulsy gabbard voter are more likely to say thiss about the right person and want right policy and this is who i vote for. so what happens to them if their candidate of choice isn't the one versus, say, some of these voters who support a centrist wolicy or a centrist candidate
anho consider electability their most important issue? >> right. the thing we've seen, there are different times of voters. the tulsy gabbard vot'rs, thonly there for tulsy gabbard. they're very conservative. they're not a liberal outsider bernie sanders is attracting. the elizabeth warren votis, that he one that is going to be interesting. it doesn't look like at this point, unless elizabeth warren pus off n upset in new hampshire that she's going to be able to continue on. ifhe , she might be pulling some of bernie sanders' support. if she doesn't, itsot the her way around, most are concerned about policy and they'll go to bernieianders. if hable to consolidate that support, where theti centrists are kind of mulling about not sure which one is the best candidate, bernie sanders can start racking u delegates by winning 30%, 35 the votes in the contests rolling out on super tuesday. i sreenivasan: that's wh was going to say, heading forward now there is still an incentive for a tom steyer to stick around because he's be
campaignincampaigning in south r spending money in south carolina to try to hincrease name-brand recognition. right. if-- i have a feeling ome of steyer's support in south carolina and nevada that we're seeing right now in the polls is driven by the fact he's the only one who has been present there with hisrt ading. i think one the other candidates get in there and the voters start looking at what happened in iowa and new hampshire at could sht. i think the bigger wild card here is what happens on super tuesday with mike bloomberg on the ballot.th e centrists haven't figured it out yet, mike bloomberg isme e they could take another look at, and maybe bernie sanders gs up t 40%, 45% at that point in some of these >> sreenivasan: let's talk a little bit about what happened last week in iowa. everybody was watching it, giant spotlight on iowa, end th she's results, some of it is technology, some of it just get heret, dn way that we expected. what does this do to the process years?forward another four >> i think it points out the failure of using a caucus to
kick this off. so you have to remember, caucuses are designed to select convention delegat to your county conventions, set party platforms. they're not designed to givea broad base of the democratic or republican electorate, for that matter, a say in who the nominee is. so they triedto have itoth ways this year and that's what caused thche cal breakdown. when they were reporting the delegates in the past they probably weren't following the rules then, either. i think the bigger probl with iowa is you had less than two-thirds, less than 20 pi think, of eligible go out and say this is who we want to be the democratic nominee for president. that's not a good way to caisk. hei mean, we from iowa, people who are supporters will of the iowa caucus ationz the kickoff, saying we're really intested here. more than two-thirds of your democratic voters are not interested because they didn't participate at all. i think we may not be seeing caucuses in the process iththe wa are now when we get to the next cycle. >> sreenivasan: let's talk also a little bit aut the president's approval ratg in
his party and where it has been over time, and especially >> yes, i mean, this is-- this has been really fascinating heyause one of the thin t was looking back, i was one of the first people to skull tullely to onald trump as a serious candidate back in 2015. and what we found is hnle had something like a 26% or % approval rating or favorable rating among republicans back in the spring of 2015. by the time he announced, it went up to 41%. by the time he was nominated it went up to 65%. inow we see t at 90% and locked in. there is nothing he can do to change that. he has actually transformed the republican party. i think part of it has been that many of those people, republicanrepublicans who stl t sapproved of him when he was elected, have lhe party and become independents. and that's why we're seeing a-- probably a smallerbase of republicans now. but they're fully in lockstep with donald trump.sr >>nivasan: patrick murray, director of the monmouth unersity polling institute, v thank yy much. my pleasure
>> sreenivasan: president trump tksweeted attn lieutenant colayel alexander vindman tod after firing him and his twin brother from the national securityouncil yesterday. lieutenant colonel vindman testified against the president in the hoine impeachment iry. in a series of tweets, mr. trump called vindman "insubordisate," an "i don't know him, never spoke to him, or met him i don't believe." sn attorney for vindman said the president wa "exacting re vindman and his brother will reportedly return to the pentagon to continue their a careers rmy officers. gordon sonand, the u.s. ambassador to the european union who also testified in the impeachment inquiry, issued a statement last night saying the presidennotified h that he is being recalled immediately. u.s. officials announced tay that an american citizen has died from the coronavirus in the chinese city of wuhan. , who diear-old woman
on thursday, reportedly had underlying health issues before becoming the first known american fatality from the illness. as the death toll rises and the virus spre around the world are taking rict precautions to slow the spread of the deadly disease. hong kong said today that it will begin enforcing a mandatory quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland china. and, 3,700 people arbeing ordered to remain aboard a cruise ship for 14 days afte 64 passengers tested positive for the virus. the coronavirus has infected near 35,000 people globally since it was first detected in december. an army sergeant in thailand killed at least 2op0 pele and oojured more than 30 others during a mass shng today. ( gunfire ) police say the man kled another soldier and a woman over a land dispute at a military base before driving to a shopping mall. he fired shots along the way, and reportedly posted updates to his facook page. people in the multi-story mall about 150 miles northeast of
bangkok were traed for hours. it was unclear how many were injured or killed at the mall. shortly before midnight, police secured the building andore than 100 people were evacuated. the gunman reportedly had an assault rifle, but as of late today, there was no word on whether he had beenaptured. >> sreenivasan: for more ofs today's headlid the latest on the presidential candidates in new hampshire, visit www.pbs.org/nehour. >> sreenivasan: from satellite launches to new space exploration, it'been a busy year in space so far. loren grush is senior science reporter at the verge, and is here with me now to discuss it all. somost of us were payio attention tiowa politics, but you were paying attention to a very busy week in all space-related news. >> right. >> sreenivasan: it startedut th christina koch, astronaut, coming back. she has a couple of recordsand what she's done in space in all tthe time she spen is pretty impressive. >> she spent a total o328 days, nearly a year, up in
space. and while she was there she made history with her best friend and colleag, jessica mu, with the first all-female spacewalk in history. they did three times. so i think she's definitely has quite a lot of accomplishments under her belt when she comes home. >> sreenivasan: , d now, i meu see these images of her retuing to earth and kind of acclimating. she was psyched she took the helmet off. >> actually said toy friend, "i think i kind of want to go to feeling coming back to eah because it's got to be exhilarating. >> sreenivasan: later in the week, we also had kind osoan update t of the things that people were figuring out about the starliner project. wh was happening? right now, there are two companies that are creating these new vehicleso take astronauts to and from the international space station. and they're getting really clos to actuatting people on those vehicles. but before they do that, they have o do these uncrude flight tests. and boeing did its uncrude flight test in december and it didn't really go according to plan at the tim
camsul from getting into right orbit. so it didn't actually go tohe intertional space stion like it's supposed to. but now we're learning that there was actuly a second software glitch that was corrected at the time. but if itadn't been corrected, it could have been a catastrophic failure foher t spacecraft, and it could have maybe been destroyed when it re-entered earth's atmosphere. we don't know because, fortunately, they fix it. but its kind of highlighting that bing is having these coding problems, and nasa is really doing a deep investigation into that. th>> sreenivasan: ase starliner project is happening, you also have the space-x prect at's kind of work in parallel, and that is planning on putting people into orbit. so initially, when they chose these twowaroviders its supposed to spark competition and, man, since then, that competition has really heated up. they definitely are constantly going back and forthith one other and trying to prove and beat out the other-- the provider. so far, space-x has had its own
problems. last year, one of its crew dragon capsules inexploded d a test on the ground. but since then, they've kind of overcome that failure. they did a really crucial test this january wherthey tested out the emergency abort system on the crew dragon, which isr reallyucial piece of hardware that needed to save the lives of astronauts in case there's an emergency duri the launc and they were able to prove tham syuperbly. it went, you know, exactly as planned. waiting period of, okay, when will astronauts board thecrew dragon? and that could come in the that's what spe-x c.e.o.'s elon musk has said. >> sreenivasan: two other things, if that wasn't enough, this week, two other things that were happening. one company had t up, what, another 30 more satellites? >> 34 satellites. >> sreenivasan: 34 more satellites. >> right. >> sreenivasan: in one launch, an othey're planning to p more and more satellites every
couple of months to do what? >>o this is the ar launching lots and lots of satellites to create intern superspace. so the company is oneweb, and ey have this vision of launching over 600 satellitesto create this kind of globalst colation to beam internet coverage down to the earth below. and they need that many satellites because they're putting tm into a low to midearth orbit so that they can it's latency between the signals is very low.ne but you'l a lot of satellites so they can cover the entire globe. >> sreenivasan finally, what could be the most interesting thing, and we will have to wait years to see if thisplays out, is a launch happening tomorrow, a solar orbiter, we have sending a sapt light. we have sent satellites before to look at the sun. what's the satellite we're sending tomorrow going to do that's different? >> this satellite is going to be to a place and see a vantage of the sun we haven't seen before. it's the sun's polar regions. just like on earth, the sun has
poles, too. normally when we send spaceaft to steady the sun they orbit in line with the planets. the planets all orbit in the same plane, flat disk. but getting to the poles is really hard because they're at an angle. thp particular spacecraft is going to get intt angular orbit and really get the first upclose look tiananmen poles that we've ever seen. >> sreenivasan: loren grush from "the verge", thank you for >> thank you for aving me. >> senivasan: the mississippi delta is one of americqus most picturand economically important regions. but the changesumans have made it, made worse by climate change, have shaken up coastal wildlife and seafood supplies. newshour weekend special correspondent josh landis has our story. it's part of our initiative, "peril and pmise: e challenge of cprmate change," uced in partnership with nexus media news. >> reporter: debbie fountain and
her husband are oyster farmers in the gulf of mexico. restaurants up and down the east coast are a booming market for seafood frothese parts-- a demand the fountains would like to harness for their small business. and, they see themselves as more than just seafood vendors. >> i feel a stewardship, you know, we're doing something that'senewable. you grow an oyster. they filter the water, you ca feed people,t's a huge, beautiful source of protein, and, whas not to love about it? a lot of these cages become little habits, littl hatcheries. >> reporter: see the little crabs inside. >> see the little crabbies? things in there?r little crazy >> salty, huh? >> they have a... a complicated flavor. it's a complicated mineral mix. >> reporter: but last year, the couple ctionfronted the vola new reality of the mississippi river, even though their oyster bed is nealy 100 miles east. miin and snow across the dwest had swelled the river to recd levels. the army corps of engineers had
little choice but to open a massive safety valve called th"" unprecedented 123 days.r the gates add a temporary new branch to the river, lowering water levels in the mn channel. if i had been here earlier this year, i'd be facing a wallhaf water morea mile wide. at that time, water was moving north from theiver to lake pontchartrain across this vast expanse at a rate of nearly20 000 cubic feet per second. the arrival of so much fresh water from the mississippi into the saltier coastal water of the gulf threw off a delicate balance. local volunteers found the remains of more than 150 dolphins and 23 turtles. scientists on wlox's newscast in bili, mississippi blamed the loss of marine life on the influx of fresh water. >> additional non-salt water that comes in decreases the salinity in their environment, and that causes some majorob ms with these guys. >> two parts per 1,000 salinity in water. you can stick your finger in it and it tastes like fresh water.
these animals are just not made for that kind of,resh water that kind of flexibility. for us, it was 100% mortality. so we lost about probably 14,000 oysters in that event. >> repoer: author and chef melissa martin sees the changes showing up in her kitchen. she's the fo tder of mosquito supper club in new orleans. >> i created these so we could start a conversation about south louisiana,nd talk abou sustainability and food and life and the environment. what wdo here is try to give people a meal that they would have at my grandmother's house or my mom's house, serng the food that i grew up eating. i get worried when i peer inou the future running a restaurant. based on seafood from otherrant places. i will always be running a restaurant based on what i could get here. and that may mean that one day that i'm not a seafood and that's a really sad thought, but that's kind of the reality
of where we are. >> reporter: martin's kitchen hasn't suffered solely from the intrusion of fresh water into salt water. salt water moving into fresh has been an even bigger problem. the gnumerous oil a production facilities in the area utilize a maze of man-made channels, allowing saltwater to inva marshlands, causing erosion and destroying seafood- rich habitat. >> terrebonne parish used to be one of the highest oyster- producing places in the state, but once the salater intrusion started happening because of the oil fields, we lost pretty much, you know, all of our oyster beds. the amount of shrimp that we have ushas changed because we don't have estuaries for them to live in. you know, they're just being eaten away by salt water. know, it's a huge red fl that we've got some major things happening. >> for us, envirmentally, our markers have become some of these big disasters. you know, a huge hurricane. a huge oil spill.
a huge flood situation. i would te to think that that's the only measures that we have of our time, you know, but it seems like right now those are the measures of our time. we're going to have to do what farmers all over ameca do-- just try and insure if we can. and, do a lot of prayer. i guess, because we've got no control over some of those things. >> reporter: aial photographer ben depp, seen in pbs's 2019 series "rivers of li," is one of many artists in new orleans for whom thdelta is a core inspiration. but in exploring the iconic landscape, he knows he is documenting a disappearing world. >> everywhere you look, you see the thousands of miles of canals cut through thihe wetlands, caused saltwater intrusion, which killed the vegetation, and caused the ground to erode. you can see the marsh just >> reporter: some channels pre-date those created by the l industry.er
they we made to transport trees during a surge in coastal logging in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when louisiana was the nation's largest produceof timber. >> this place used to be a thriving ecos mystetly forested with cypress and tupelo, and... just this expansive, fwet hardwoest full of alligators and fish. incredible, but itd ofill just the edges of what this place ed to be. >>eporter: the bald cypress can grow to 1,700 years old o this coast. some scientists estimate it would require about that amount of time to undo humans' impact on the missiippi delta. in the meantime, debbie fountain offers her own haan. >> we al to be better stewards of what we use and how we behave and what we do. all of us have to become better stewards.
>> th is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> sreenivasan: after decades of coastal erosion in louisiana and the largest oil spill in our nation's history, a shriing brown pelican sanctuary has finally been restored to its former size.newshour's ivette fs thstory. >> reporter: every summer for generations, louisiana's queen bess island has been an important breeding ground for cse to 10,000anrown pelicans other seabirds. but the habitatk shr size by more than 70% between the mid-1950s and 2010, due toio coastal er and then, in 2010, a bp offshore oil rig exploded, causing a devastating oil spill that resued in the deaths of more than 1,000 birds once it reached the island.
the w acres of marsh that survived the spill weren't high enough for pelicans to nest, so the louisiana department of rebuilds he island.ies woed to >>ffered a lot over the years, and it's great to see a project like this >> come back. eporter: tod baker, the biologist supervising restoration, says queen bess is important because it is one of less than ten brown pelican colonies left in the state. >> the small isles, small parcels are very subject to rapid deterioration in that kind of environment and the bp oil spill also covered this island, so it smothered a lot of vegetation, which expedited the alount of wetlans we had out here. >> reporter: the restoration was funded thanks to a $20 billion settlement between bp, the federal government, and five gulf coast states affected by the spill. itncludeg s enlarginand intaining the island. >> now what you see outere is 37 acres of new habitat that are being created. so when those birds return, they're going to have a lot of room to sd prt. >> reporter: officials expect to continue the restoration this
year. an >> sreenivwe will have the latest on the democratic primary campaigns tomorrow from n that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanha for watching. a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made ssible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. charles rosenblum.
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